Healthy oral health habits are extremely important for keeping healthy teeth. They keep tooth decay, gum disease, cavities, and even bad breath at bay. Not to mention that good dental habits ensure you’ll keep your teeth for your whole life.
However, research is finding that your mouth isn’t the only place that’s affected by your brushing and flossing habits. In fact, dental health can reflect the health of many other areas of the body.
If you’re looking to keep your mouth healthy to keep the rest of your body healthy, Absolute Smile is here to help.
Diseases Linked To Bad Oral Health
There are several conditions and diseases that researchers think poor oral health may contribute to.
- Cardiovascular disease – Some research has suggested that bacterial buildup in the mouth could be linked to heart disease, stroke, clogged arteries, and similar conditions. Researchers suspect the inflammation from this buildup is what contributes to these conditions.
- Obesity – This goes hand in hand with poor oral health. First of all, bacterial buildup could contribute to obesity. But there’s also diet. A poor diet, especially one high in sweets, can both cause obesity and rot away the gums.
- Pregnancy complications – Research has found that gum disease could be linked to premature birth and similar problems.
Other Conditions Linked To Bad Oral Health
Some conditions may actually worsen your oral health, rather than be caused by poor oral health. Many (but not all) of these deal with a compromised immune system.
- HIV/AIDS – Both HIV and AIDS compromise your immune system, putting you at a greater risk of bad oral health. People who have either HIV or AIDS suffer painful oral conditions due to the weakened immune system.
- Diabetes – Since diabetes weakens your body’s resistance to infections, oral health can decline much more rapidly.
- Alzheimer’s disease – Researchers have also found that oral health can decline as Alzheimer’s progresses.
Did you know that saliva is one of your body’s first lines of defense?
It contains antibodies to fight off viruses, as well as proteins that combat the growth of a fungus found in the gut called Candida Albicans. Candida Albicans is normally benevolent (as it’s inside your gut), but a compromised immunse system can cause it to become pathogenic in individuals with a compromised immune system. When it does so, it causes a condition called Oral Thrush.
Saliva is a powerful diagnostic tool as well. Doctors can discover a lot of things with a simple swab of saliva:
- Certain cancer markers
- HIV-specific antibodies to detect possible HIV infection
- Drug use
- Cortisol levels
- Oral infections
- Even your genes
Keeping Your Oral Health In Check
It’s frightening to think about the diseases that have been linked to oral health. But if you engage in healthy habits, you can drastically reduce your chance of getting one of these diseases.
First of all, brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, no exception. Don’t slack here; angle the brush at the gumline and thoroughly scrub all surfaces of all your teeth. Use a soft bristle to be gentle on the gums. Supplement your brushing with a daily flossing routine, then rinse your mouth out to finish off anything still stuck in there.
Make sure to keep your toothbrush clean and replace it every 3 months.
Eat healthy. Avoid sugary foods as well as tobacco in any form.
Lastly, schedule regular appointments with your dentist every 6 months. If you’re looking to keep your mouth and the rest of your body healthy, schedule an appointment today with Absolute Smile.